Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The High Line and the Star on 18 Diner

Having seen two disappointing Off Broadway musicals on Saturday and Sunday (see my last two posts on The Magdalene and Death Takes a Holiday), we opted to do something other than attend the theatre yesterday.  It was the last day of the three day Fourth of July weekend and we thought it would be fun to stroll down the recently opened extension to the High Line Park from  West 16th to West 30th Street.  We’re glad we did.

We walked the initial stretch of the High Line some months ago and enjoyed it then, but I found myself enjoying yesterday’s stroll along the newly opened extension even more.   Maybe it’s because the flowers were in bloom.  Maybe the 16th-30th Street extension overlooks a more interesting stretch of the city.  Maybe I was just in a better mood.  Or maybe it was because it was the Fourth of July holiday which resulted in there being an even larger crowd of the disparate groups that make New York the great metropolis it is: blacks and whites, Asians and Hispanics, young and old, invalids confined to wheel chairs and toddlers confined to strollers – a really motley crowd of all segments of society to be sure - and I just loved being part of it.

By the time we descended from the High Line at 16th Street, it was lunch time and we looked about for someplace to eat.  A number of fine restaurants have opened in the area, encouraged by the increased traffic flow attributable to the opening of the second stage of the High Line Park, but that’s not what we were looking for.  In keeping with our stroll along the High Line, we just wanted to discover a typical New York diner where we could get a good but inexpensive meal.

Luck was with us.  There on the corner of 10th Avenue and West 18th Street we found just what we were looking for: The Star on 18 Diner.  A typical slightly grungy Greek diner with standard offerings of omelets, salads, burgers, gyros and souvlakis, the diner also offered a variety of special lunches of the day at prices averaging about $10 a meal.  I opted for something a bit unusual: a grilled cheese sandwich with mushrooms and bacon on challah bread – and it was delicious.  Sue stuck to a more traditional diner offering: a chicken gyro and Greek salad platter – and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Both of our meals came with enormous portions of great French fries and included cups of excellent Yankee bean soup and rich rice pudding for dessert.  For diner food, it was terrific – and the whole tab, for the two of us – came to less than thirty bucks.  A steal.

And a great way to end the third day of a Fourth of July weekend in New York.

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